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The backyard theme park that has kept expanding for 30 years

December 15, 2016

Current owner and founder of The Big Buzz Fun Park, Shane Clews. Photo: Supplied

Not many businesses are in the business of selling fun, but the Big Buzz Fun Park in Forster is one of them.

“We’ve built something people can enjoy,” owner Shane Clews said.

After noticing the increasing importance of tourism to the economy of the NSW mid-north coast more than 30 years ago, Mr Clew transformed his expansive backyard into an adventure playground that he opened to the public, complete with water slides and a toboggan ride. He’s been adding to it ever since.

It’s one of two examples of backyard tourist attractions currently for sale, the other being the Bellingham Maze in Queensland.

“There’s nothing better than having an afternoon where people thank you, or put a review up on Facebook – 99 per cent say ‘thank you’ and ‘we’ve had a good time’ on their way home,” he said.

The fun park features several pools and waterslides. Photo: Supplied The fun park features several pools and waterslides. Photo: Supplied

But now ready to retire, Mr Clews is selling the business and wants the buyer to keep adding to it the way he did.

“I’d love for a big company to come in and add more waterslides and develop this further. There is a case to expand it but I am 64 and ready to retire,” he said.

The toboggan is a hit at Big Buzz Fun Park. Photo: Supplied The toboggan is a hit at Big Buzz Fun Park. Photo: Supplied

Current attractions at the park, located on Rainbow Flat, a 12-minute drive from Forster and about 300 kilometres north of Sydney, include water slides, a toboggan course, putt-putt golf, laser tag and quad bike rides, among others.

Mr Clews, a licensed builder, also constructed the house on the 12.14-hectare property, and which was renovated four years ago.

While the business is ideally set up for a single operator, there is the potential that it could support multiple owners.

“The business generates enough income to comfortably support two families,” Mr Clews said.

The fun park currently has 16 staff on the books, with peak times during school holidays.

While on its busiest-ever day it had 138 cars through the gates – at approximate $150 a car – it averages 60-plus cars each day during the Christmas holidays.

It’s popular with families from Newcastle and the Hunter, and even attracts many day trippers from the Central Coast. A recent schoolies group chose to incorporate the park into their end-of-school-holiday plans.

The four bedroom home was recently renovated, including the installation of marble bench tops in the kitchen. Photo: Supplied The four bedroom home was recently renovated, including the installation of marble bench tops in the kitchen. Photo: Supplied

Selling agent Luke Crane, from Ray White Forster Tuncurry, said the land size and location of the property made it good deal, with potential to scale the business into a wedding and function centre.

“The location is absolutely beautiful. You’ve got a wonderful, peaceful feel but it’s only minutes to the beach,” Mr Crane said.

The property was previously listed with Queensland based agent at a higher price, but Mr Crane and Mr Clews have now reduced it.

“It is now priced at an amount where it will sell; $2.4 million is a great price. The land alone is remarkable, before you add the house and the significant fun park revenue,” Mr Crane said.

Another fun-themed business, Bellingham Maze, at the foothills of Buderim, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, has been listed for sale with McGrath Buderim.

The star shaped maze has been an icon of the local area for over twenty years. Photo: Supplied The star shaped maze has been an icon of the local area for over twenty years. Photo: Supplied

The 1.8-hectare site at Tanawha includes and 80 x 80 metre star-shaped, living-hedge maze; rope, timber and tyre mazes; an 18-hole mini golf course with garden cafe, and a puzzle shop.

“The Bellingham Maze is renowned as being one of the Coast’s most popular tourist attractions. Known locally as ‘The Maze,’ it has been loved by families since it first opened its doors over 20 years ago,” said listing agent Chris Pace.

The property also features a "waterfall entrance". Photo: Supplied The property also features a “waterfall entrance”. Photo: Supplied

It also includes a four-bedroom home with study, and a “waterfall entrance”.

The Bellingham Maze is for sale by tender, closing January 24, 2017.

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